Farming apprenticeships are being funded for two students from Ampthill by a local charity.
The Connolly Foundation is supporting Jack Suddabby and Ryan Jones, both former Redborne Upper School students who have since completed a two-year Level 3 Animal Management course at Shuttleworth College.
They have now returned to the school as Connolly apprentices where they are gaining more experience in managing livestock and agriculture. Both attend Shuttleworth College one day a week studying Level 2 Agriculture.
The school has a working three-acre farm on its campus, complete with livestock, greenhouses and classrooms. It has new barns that are providing high welfare accommodation for the livestock, which includes pigs, sheep, chickens and turkeys.
Ryan, 18, is interested in large livestock rather than agriculture but lacked the breadth of experiences needed and in particular the practical experience with animals to be able to successfully get a job in this area. He saw the apprenticeship as his opportunity to gain that.
Jack, also 18, has also made the decision to work in mainstream agriculture and sees the apprenticeship as his opportunity to gain that valuable practical experience which may allow him to secure his dream job.
Jack said: “We are very grateful and thankful to the Connolly Foundation for funding these apprenticeships, which we believe are the first of this kind.”
Ryan added: “This is a great opportunity that allows us to study locally and make our ambitions become a reality.”
The Connolly Foundation is a charity in Bedfordshire that has given £4 million to local causes and organisations since it began 10 years ago.
The Foundation awards grants in three specific areas community facilities, education and support for the frail and elderly.
Since 2007 numerous individuals, group and projects have benefited from the foundation’s support.
“It works mainly through charitable organisations, to control its costs to ensure that money is spent on projects and not overheads.